Ghazal 88, Verse 2


;halqe hai;N chashmhaa-e kushaadah bah suu-e dil
har taar-e zulf ko nigah-e surmah-saa kahuu;N

1) the circles are eyes opened in the direction of the heart--
2) every strand of the curls I would call a collyrium-ish glance


zulf : 'A curling lock (hanging down upon the temple or over the ear), side-lock, curl, ringlet, lock, tress'. (Platts p.617)


That is, it’s as if the cirles of the curls are on the watch, guarding the heart; and when he called the circles of the curls 'eyes', then there ought to be a glance for the se eyes also-- thus the author has made every strand of hair a collyrium-ish glance. (88)

== Nazm page 88

Bekhud Mohani:

The circles of your curls are opened eyes that are keeping watch for the heart. When the circles have been made into eyes, then every single strand of hair has been made into a glance-- and that too a glance that would emerge from a collyrium-adorned eye, and which would have an effect much greater than formerly. That is, when so many traps are laid, then it's impossible for the heart not to be captured. (181)


That is, however many curls you have, all of them are keeping watch in the direction of my heart, and are looking at me with great attention. Since the glances of your collyrium-adorned eyes too have this quality, it was proper to call every strand of your curls a collyrium-ish glance. With regard to the blackness of the curls, collyrium has been mentioned. (178)


CURLS: {14,6}
EYES {3,1}
GAZE: {10,12}

On the nature and special qualities of collyrium, see {44,1}.

How much is there to say about a witty little mushairah verse like this one? Once we've been duly puzzled by the cryptic first line, then have duly waited for the second line and found the point of it, what more do we need?

The only extra little clever, Ghalibian touch that I can find is the matter of the strands of hair being glances. If they are, they're certainly not directed at the heart! By definition, curly tresses are made up of twisting strands of hair that go this way and that, rather than aligning themselves in any one direction. Which of course is just how the beloved's coquettish sidelong glances do behave. So the curls/eyes may be looking toward the heart, but the individual hair-strand/glances are taking a much wider view. As an experienced hunter, the beloved will keep an eye on the immediate prey, but she will also be on the lookout for any future victims in the vicinity.